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Legal Tip 152: Super Disputes on Death of a Member

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Terry_w, 19th Dec, 2016.

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  1. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Super Disputes on Death of a Member


    Often there are disputes about who should receive the death benefits of a member. Nearly always these between family members.


    The problems arise because it is the trustee that decides who, from a small list of dependants, gets the death benefits. Death benefits can only be paid to children, spouses, financial dependants or to the estate. See

    Legal Tip 146: Who can receive your Super when you die?

    Legal Tip 146: Who can receive your Super when you die?



    So where the trustee pays the death benefits to the new spouse the children from a previous marriage will miss out or vice versa. They have the opportunity to dispute the trustee’s decision.


    The appropriate jurisdiction for this will be the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT). Superannuation Complaints Tribunal


    Note that SMSF cannot take matters to the SCT – The SCT has no jurisdiction to hear complaints about SMSFs – The Supreme Court would be the appropriate place (and it would be much more expensive).


    For a list of SMSF cases in 2016 see 2016 Superannuation Complaints Tribunal of Australia Decisions


    Here is a random sample case about a new wife and adult daughter disputing the death benefit payments of the deceased. The deceased had made a binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) to the wife and the daughter disputed its validity – the wife won.

    D16-17\050 [2016] SCTA 318 D16-17\050 [2016] SCTA 318 (19 October 2016)
     
  2. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    Probably didn't seek legal advice and went to SCT. I suspect the complainant would go ahead despite of any advice on prospects.